Milan (Italian: Milano) is financially the most important city in Italy and the second largest in Italy. Milan remains the marketplace for Italian fashion – fashion aficionados, supermodels and international paparazzi descend upon the city twice a year for its spring and autumn fairs.
If Rome represents the "old" Italy, Milan represents the "new" Italy. Milan is the most modern of all Italian cities, and it still keeps most of its past history intact.
There is an Italian saying about the differences of these two cities which roughly translates,"Rome is a like a voluptuous woman whose gifts are very apparent, while Milan is the shy, demeure girl whose treasures are plentiful, but discovered in time."
Milan has two main international air gateways, Linate airport and Malpensa airport. Sometimes referred to as Milan's additional airports, Bergamo's Orio al Serio airport (45 km East) and Parma airport (100 km South) mostly host budget airlines.
The main international airport is Malpensa (Milan Malpensa, IATA : MXP). It's a large, modern, two-runway airport. The airport has two terminals, with Terminal 1 being the largest (international and intercontinental flights). Terminal 2 is used by a number of budget airlines, such as Easyjet, and has grown consistently in the last few years (2004-2008). The two terminals are connected by a free shuttle bus service (running approximately every 20 minutes). However, such shuttles are very small and the frequency is inadequate: long queues tend to form, which prompts several taxi drivers to station right next to the stop and pick up those passengers who don't want to or can't afford to wait. It is not uncommon for passengers to wait up to 40-45 minutes for the transfers: most shuttles are packed, forcing passengers to wait for the next one.
Malpensa Express Trains . It leaves every 30 minutes from Terminal 1 and arrives at Milan's Cadorna train station after 40 minutes (Cadorna station is connected to Milan's subway network). By far recommended as the easiest and fastest connection to Milan, it is a rather efficient, speedy link (may be crowded at rush hours). Ticket: single trip €11 (€13.50 if bought on the train), round trip (single day) €14 (€17 if bought on the train). Your ticket must be validated in the station before boarding. Last trains depart from Malpensa Terminal 1 at approx 11:20PM so if you arrive on a late flight or are delayed then you will need to take a bus or taxi. Taking the train is not recommended if you have to reach Terminal 2, as the connections between T1 and T2 are very poor (see above)
To save a little bit of money at the expense of changing trains, buying two separate tickets and waiting some time at the connecting point, you may use the special train from Malpensa airport to Saronno and a regular service from Saronno to Milan (total cost for a single trip bought at the ticket office €8.10). An even cheaper way but with a much more difficult connection is changing in Busto Arsizio FN train station (total cost for a single trip bought at the ticket office €5.95).
Buses leave approximately every 20 minutes for Centrale Station and Linate airport, costing about €6 (€10 for a return ticket). Travel can take from 40 minutes (weekends) to 1 hour or more (during weekday mornings). Buses are the best bet if you arrive at Terminal 2. Since you need to take the slow airport internal shuttle bus to get to the train station, you might as well get on a bus directly to Milan. There is always a bus waiting, and they usually wait until the bus is completely full before departing.
Using a taxi to get from Malpensa to the city center is expensive: €70 (fixed fee for a City-Airport trip, without further stops). Note that only taxis registered in Milan itself have signed up to the fixed fee agreement - taxis from outlying cities (which you will also find at Malpensa) have not signed on to the agreement, will still take you to Milan but will charge you the meter reading (generally €80+ in light traffic). If upon entering a taxi you do not see a card on the window or rear of the driver/passenger seats, then you are in a non-Milanese taxi. You can request the fixed fee if the driver refuses, then take the next taxi in the rank. You may find that if you take the fixed fee from a non-Milanese taxi then they take a slower non-toll road rather than the toll paying motorway (tolls are ALWAYS paid by the driver so are included in the meter or fixed fee).
You can reach Milan by Trenitalia trains departing from Gallarate train station. A bus service is available from Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 to Gallarate.
Some European or national flights arrive at Linate Airport (IATA : LIN). This small but rather efficient one-runway airport is very close to the city centre (7 km). It is mostly serviced by airlines to domestic destinations and some European destinations. After the bankruptcy of the 'old' Alitalia and its merger with AirOne, the new airline abandoned Malpensa in favour of Linate.
Taking connecting flights in Linate might take longer than elsewhere because there is no through passage: you get off the airplane, get out of the security area, go through security again together with those passengers who have just arrived from Milan and not with a connecting flight, and only then can you board the new plane. If you're taking a connection from abroad it doesn't make much difference, because in these cases you have to go through security again (say, London to Palermo via Rome Fiumicino), but if both flights are domestic then you don't have to go through security again if the airport has a through passage (e.g. Palermo to Genova via Rome Fiumicino). This is common in most countries: the rationale is that apparently no one seems to trust security checks performed by other countries!
Since the airport is so close to the city, it is served by buses of the city public transport network: Autostradale "Starfly" buses run every 30 minutes from Linate to Centrale station (5 euro). Bus no. 73 outside the terminal building goes to San Babila Square, in the city centre, which is served by metro line MM1. Note that this bus is not a dedicated service but a city transportation network bus with many stops en route, may get crowded during peak hours. The bus runs every ten minutes and costs €1. This bus service is managed by ATM , the public transport company of Milan. Tickets can be purchased from the newsagent inside the airport terminal or by the ATM vending machines close to the bus stop. With the same ticket, you can transfer to the metro (subway) system once and unlimited buses or tram streetcars in a 75 minute period. You can also directly use a comprehensive ticket to many places in the suburbs. For more detail see Get around. Information and timetables available from the ATM web site.
To catch the right 73 bus to Milan, look for direction "SAN BABILA M1" and avoid Line 73 buses directed to "S.FELICINO".
A dedicated bus service connects Linate airport to Milan's center running every 30 minutes and tickets cost €3 per adult (ticket sold at local newsagent and on board).
A bus service, operated by Malpensa Shuttle connects Malpensa airport to Linate airport as well as Malpensa to Milan's Central train station (timetables, fares and ticket booking available online). The journey takes 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on traffic conditions.
Taxis from Linate to the city centre cost around €12-20 depending on traffic conditions. The minimum charge is €12. If you are going to the centre, ignore all the guys standing at the exit to the terminal saying "taxi"... they are for destinations outside central Milan (ie, outlying cities) and will charge a minimum of €70. Queues for regular taxis can get long during peak commuter hours (early evening) and are particularly bad during Fashion Week.
Some budget airlines fly into Orio al Serio Airport (IATA : BGY) . About 45km north-east of Milan near the city of Bergamo. Ryanair refers to this as Milan Bergamo Airport. Public transport into Milan is slightly less convenient than Malpensa or Linate:
Trains to Milan leave from Bergamo station, which you can get to by shuttle bus or taxi, but is quite far from the airport. Buses to Bergamo are run by ZANI and take 10 minutes, at a cost of around €1.50. Trains from Bergamo to Milan run every 30-60 minutes and take around 1 hour. Adult one-way fare approx €4.
Bus Services — All buses leave for Milan from immediately outside the arrivals section of the airport and from Ferrante Aporti on the east side of Central Station in Milan for all the companies below.
Autostradale run a direct bus from Orio Airport to Milano Centrale station, which is probably the best choice. Departure times may vary, but buses generally run every half hour during the day, less often at night, and take about 1 hour or more. However, beware of cutting things too fine, because the highway to Milan is very crowded during weekdays. Adult one-way fare: €8.90. Tickets are sold in Orio Al Serio Airport in Bergamo and at the Central Train Station in Milan. Be at the Milan Bus stop at least 15 minutes before nominal departure time, or you may get left behind. Tickets can be purchased online, but sellers at the airport and train station will offer 3 tickets for price of 2.
Zani Viaggi also run a bus service from Bergamo Airport to Milano Centrale station with a stop at the Cascina Gobba MM2 station on the North Eastern outskirts of Milan. Adult fare: €6.70 one way. Tickets sold at an office in the airport or online.
Taxis will set you back maybe €100 from Orio to Milan.
The station building is in itself worth a visit being a masterpiece of rationalist architecture.
Note that the station area is not in a great part of town at night, though in the area there are a number of decent budget hotels (see "Sleep" below) and some business-oriented international brand hotels. In general the area south of the station (characterized by a few skyscrapers) is a business and local government center, pretty active during working hours but almost deserted at night. Should you need a few supplies for your trip, there is a small supermarket in the western side of the station at ground level, as well as cafes and other small shops. Internet points in the main square overlooking the station. In 2008 the station is completing extensive renovation. At night, parts of the Central Station become a sleeping area for vagrants. Usually around the station there are some foreign gypsy children aggressively targeting tourist for pickpocketing, so pay attention to your bag.
The Central Station is served by MM2 and MM3 metro lines and is a masterpiece of Rationalist architecture worth a visit. Taxis stops directly in front of the station (on the sides during the renovation period), and ATM buses on the West side (IV November Square) and buses to Linate, Malpensa and Orio airports on the East side (Luigi di Savoia square).
Another important railway station is Cadorna, served by Ferrovie Nord (North Railways), where the Malpensa airport Express stops and which is also a stop for MM1 and MM2 metro lines.This is a good station if you are travelling to Como Lago station
Garibaldi station is the terminus for most commuter railway lines and is served by the state railways. It is also a stop for the MM2 metro and for the Passante suburban commuter train link (see Get_around).
Other main train stations are Lambrate (connected to MM2 metro line), Greco-Pirelli, Rogoredo (connected to MM3 metro line) and Porta Genova (connected to MM2 metro line) for the FS Trenitalia railways and Bovisa (connected to the Passante suburban commuter train link) and Domodossola for the Ferrovie Nord railways. Domodossola station is very close to the city section of the Milan Exhibition Centre - fieramilanocity, also connected to the subway system by the MM1 metro line.
Note that Ferrovie Nord (FNM) and Trenitalia (FS) are two different railway networks, with different stations, different trains and different tickets. For example, if you need to go to Malpensa airport and you are in FS Greco Pirelli, you need to go first to Garibaldi train station, then take the MM2 metro to Cadorna train station and then the Malpensa Shuttle train to the airport. In some cases from Garibaldi station, you can take the Passante suburban commuter train link to Bovisa FNM station (these trains leave from the underground station below Garibaldi station and next to the MM2 underground station. Be sure that the train you take stops at Bovisa). From Bovisa you can get on the Malpensa shuttle train.
The main motorways linking Milan to the rest of Italy are:
A4 Westbound, a six-lane motorway linking Milan to Turin, the Westyern Alps and France.
A7, a four-lane motorway linking Milan to Genoa, the Ligurian Riviera and the Cinque terre.
A9, a four-lane motorway linking Milan to Varese and Western Ticino in Switzerland.
A50, A51 and A52, respectively the West, East and North Ringroads (Tangenziale Ovest, Tangenziale Est, and Tangenziale Nord) connect the various motorways forming a six-lane ringroad around Milan.
A53, a four-lane motorway linking Milan to Pavia.
Because of heavy traffic, it is strongly recommended not to drive in Milan during working days. Driving is much better during weekends. A recommendation is to leave your car in one of the well-marked, huge commuter car parks near several exits of Milan's motorway ringroad; they're managed by ATM and are easily connected with Milan's underground metro lines, but they close around midnight. They're near highway exits in Cascina Gobba (East), Lampugnano (North West), Molino Dorino (North West), Bonola (North West), Rho-Pero (North West), Bisceglie (South West) and San Donato (South East). If you must drive in Milan during weekdays, then make sure you have an up-to-date map showing the one-way system.
Traffic congestion fee - Since January 1 2008, cars entering Milan's central area within the former walls of the city (cerchia dei navigli) must pay a fee (€2,€3, €5 or €10 depending on the engine and age of the car): there are cameras in all entrances to this area and all registration plates are recorded. Payment can be made by purchasing entrance cards at newspaper stands, online or by sms (call 020202 for information). Failure to pay within 48 hours from entering the area implies a fine of €36.
FS Garibaldi Train Station is also Milan's main Bus terminal.
Azienda Trasporti Milanesi S.p.A. (ATM) operates a public transport network which is pretty efficient (especially the underground lines and the streetcars (trams)). Single tickets cost €1.5 and are available from newsstands, tabaccherie, bars and automatic ticket machines in metro stations. 24h (€4.70) and 48h (€5.50) tickets, as well as a "carnet" of 10 single trips (€9) are available from most newsstands (including subway newsstands), tabaccherie (tobacconist - look for large T sign), coffee bars and the tourist information office. Single tickets are valid for 75 minutes, during which you can use them on as many trams and buses as you like, for one metro ride and for one ride on the urban part of the suburban train. Your time starts once you validate it by inserting it into a box which prints the date and time on it. These are found inside trams and buses and at the turnstiles at the metro. If you've first used a single ticket on a bus or tram, you must also validate it when you enter the metro or before taking the urban part of the suburban train. Note that as at late 2008 there still exists 4 different types of ticket machines on trams and buses. To validate the new-style paper with magnetic strip tickets (these should be the only ones that you will ever be sold) you need to use the orange and yellow machines. If you have a new magnetic credit-card type ticket, you should validate it every time you board on a new bus or a streetcar as well.
The Metro (short for Metropolitana , the logo is a big white M on a red background) has three lines, each commonly identified by a color as shown below, and is the best way to get around Milan. The lines are: MM1, red (rossa); MM2, green (verde); MM3, yellow (gialla). Lines 4, 5 and 6 are under construction to be completed by 2015. The subway network is rather extended (lines split into different sections and its 72 stations cover most areas of town). Trains run every 1-3 minutes. Service starts at 5.30 AM and the last trains run at around midnight (2AM on Saturday nights).
Trams (streetcars) run above-ground on rail lines running through the streets. Being above ground means you get a view of what you're passing, so if you don't need to go far, they're convenient and fun. Some tram lines are operated by the ultramodern 'jumbo' green tram, others are run by yellow or orange antique traditional carriages (similar to the ones in San Francisco) with wooden panneling inside and glass chandeliers. There is also a restaurant tram and a party tram with disco music. Many tram stops have electronic information panels with indications on how many minutes to wait before the next available service. Note that these are known as trams and an Italian (or non-American foreigner for that matter) will have no idea what you are talking about if you ask them where to find a 'streetcar'.
Buses should probably be your third public transport option. Equally comfortable, rather punctual and clean with many routes to choose from. ATM streetcar and bus services stop around 2AM. Please note, however, that some lines end their service earlier and some do not have a night service at all. In any case check your route and timetable in advance if you want to travel late at night. From 8PM to 2AM a special shuttle service is operated by ATM, called Radiobus , an on-call bus accessible only by pre-booking.
The Suburban Railway System (the logo is a big green S on a blue background) includes a special line known as Passante ferroviario, considered Milan's fourth subway line (although trains run every 10 mins), and has eight more lines, each identified by a number (S1 to S10, lines S7 and S8 being completed), connecting metro area towns with Milan. Note that suburban trains run less often than Metro trains (depending on the line, they range from 1 to 4 per hour) but, as some lines share tracks and stations, you can expect as many as 10 trains per hour in central Milan between Lancetti and Porta Vittoria stations. Suburban Railway 'S' Lines are usually marked in blue on subway maps. The Passante is not heavily used by the Milanese and in non-peak hours stations can be deserted so would not be recommended for lone (and particularly female) travellers.
Taxis can be expensive and drivers are not allowed to pick passengers up except from designated taxi stands or through phone bookings. The main taxi companies can be reached at 02.40.40, 02.69.69 or 02.80.80, or alternatively, from a land line dial 848.814.781 to be connected to the nearest taxi stand. If you book a taxi by phone you'll start paying from the moment the driver accepts the call and comes to pick you up. Local law define some fixed fee trips: Milan to Malpensa Airport €70, Malpensa Airport-Rho Fair €55, Malpensa Airport-Linate Airport €85, Linate Airport-Milan Fair €40. All fees are intended for a one-way, non-stop trip; taxi waiting time and booking are extras. A surcharge will apply in the evenings so don't be surprised if the meter has €6+ on it when you enter, even if at a taxi-stand.
Radiobus is a good, cheap and efficient alternative to taxi. Shuttle buses operated by ATM, with the characteristic silver color with a strip of international flag painted diagonal, operate after 8PM and until 2AM; you may book them by phone at 02 4803 4803 at least 20 minutes in advance (a couple of hours is better). The bus will stop at a dedicated place (these have an hexagonal panel with blue writing RADIOBUS and telephone number on white) and will leave you virtually any place. Memorize the pick-up location. The driver will wait for ladies to enter the home door as a courtesy. Costs €2 per person. You may buy the tickets in advance, or pay on the bus.
Several buses connect suburban cities and towns surrounding Milan. Some are managed by ATM. You can travel on most of them with an inter-urban ticket (biglietto interurbano) which are sold in two forms: including travel in Milan or without. In the without form you can only go to the end of the line, while with the cumulative version you can transfer to any ATM line. There are several rules and distance limits which apply, so be aware of them when you purchase your ticket.
Many bus stops have electronic information panels with indications on how many minutes to wait before the next available service.
Cars are definitely not a good idea to get into the city centre. Like most major cities traffic is a considerable problem, not to mention the hassle of parking. During working hours traffic is often blocked, inside the city as well as on the highway ring surrounding it. It is much better at night, but you'll probably have problems finding a place to leave the car near enough to nightlife attractions. And a Congestion charge will be applied anywhere from €2 to €10 per day to enter the second city ring (i Bastioni) in accordance with how much your vehicle pollutes. The charge is only applied on weekdays, between 7:30AM and 7:30PM. Drivers will have to buy a ticket either online or from key points in the city.
Walking is definitely a possibility, and although Milan is a large city, many of the main tourist attractions are within an easy and pleasant walk from one another. No matter how hot the day, one will see elegantly dressed people of both sexes in timeless fashion without a drop of sweat. There are many places to sit, apart from the ubiquitous cafes, especially in the parks. Get a decent map of the city before setting out though, as the roads do not always maintain a straight line, and the various piazza can be confusing to the newcomer. In the many parks, there are dog only areas, but one should always be careful when walking as the two things one will see on the ground in the streets are cigarette ends and dog faeces.
Milan offers the visitor a large variety of art museums, mainly of Italian Renaissance and Baroque.
Pinacoteca di Brera, Via Brera . Reach by subway MM2 Lanza - Piccolo Teatro Station, MM3 Montenapoleone Station, streetcar lines 1, 4, 8, 12, 14, 27 or buses 61 and 97. One of Italy's most important art collections and one of the foremost collections of Italian paintings.
Bagatti Valsecchi Museum — A late 19th century aristocratic mansion with Italian Renaissance art collections located in via Gesù 5, between via della Spiga and via Montenapoleone; subway MM3 Montenapoleone Station, MM1 San Babila Station, streetcar lines 1 and 2, Montenapoleone stop.
The Sforzesco Castle — Reach by subway, MM1 Cairoli - Castello Station and MM2 Lanza - Piccolo Teatro Station, or with many buses and streetcars. Houses several of the city's musuems and art gallery collections. Home to the museums of applied arts, ancient art, historical musical instruments, prehistory, Egyptian art and fine arts.
Civico Museo Archeologico — Roman antiques from Milan and the surrounding area.
Museo del Duomo (Museum of the Cathedral) . Subway: MM1 and MM3 Duomo Station. Displays the 700 year old history of construction of the cathedral, with impressive walk-in wooden models, façade designs originating from several centuries, sculptures and more.
Galleria d'Arte Moderna — Mainly features 19th Century Italian art.
Natural Science Museum, at 55, Corso Venezia, inside Porta Venezia Gardens. Subway: Line MM1, Porta Venezia or Palestro Stations. Has reduced and free entry (depends on person) after 4:30PM most days or 2:30PM Fridays.
Triennale di Milano, Alemagna St . Museum of Design and Architecture, always has 4-6 exhibits on the subject of design, photography or modern art, at least 1-2 of which are always free entry. Reach by bus 61 or subway, line MM2 Cadorna-Triennale Station, or by walking through Parco Sempione from Castello Sforzesco.
Milan has the oldest churches in Italy (yes-- older than the ones in Rome because Milan was the capital of the Northern part of the late Roman Empire). Some of the most beautiful churches one can see in Milan are:
The Duomo, in Duomo Square. Milan's main cathedral, a massive late Gothic church (started in 1386) in white marble, with hundreds of spires and thousands of statues on its exterior and a famous façade. Don't miss the chance to climb up onto the roof and enjoy the spectacular views of the city between the Gothic spires. Reachable by subway, lines MM1 or MM3, Duomo Station, or with many buses and streetcars. Roof open daily 9 AM - 5:30 PM.
Saint Mary of the Graces ('Santa Maria delle Grazie') — Houses the famous Last Supper ('Cenacolo Vinciano') by Leonardo da Vinci. It is best to reserve tickets a few months before the visit. Canceled reservations are sold from 8:15AM every morning (if there are any). Tickets can be be reserved by phone (02.8942.1146) or online . Reachable by streetcars 20-24-29-30 or by subway, lines MM1 and MM2 Cadorna Station.
Saint Ambrose, in Piazza San Ambrogio. A beautiful and huge Byzantic/Romanic church which was almost destroyed by allied bombing in World War 2, although some of its Byzantic mosaics are well preserved. Reachable by subway: MM2 Sant'Ambrogio.
Saint Maurice — A must-see! A stunning fully frescoed Renaissance church. Most of the paintings are the work of Bernardino Luini.
The Castello Sforzesco — Where the Sforza-Visconti ruling families of Milan resided. Later it was the Austrian governor's residence, when Lombardy was part of the Hapsburg empire. It houses several museums. Reachable by subway: MM1 Cairoli - castello Station.
La Scala Theatre, Via Filodrammatici 2, , +39 02 88 79 1. One of the most renowned opera houses in the world. It first opened in 1778 and re-opened in 2004 after extensive renovation. Reachable by subway: MM1 and MM3 Duomo Station.
Cimitero Monumentale — Milan's old cemetery in Neoclassical style. It is filled with lavish sculptures and monuments. Well worth a visit!
Old Hospital — A Renaissance complex which now serves the university.
La Rotonda della Besana — An 18th Century Neoclassical complex. It is now an exhibition space.
Chiaravalle Abbey— A beautifully-preserved medieval abbey still run by monks today, 7 kms South of Milan (get off at MM3 subway line Rogoredo Station and take a local bus for 3 stops; another option is to get off at MM3 subway line Corvetto Station and take local bus number 77 for 8 stops).
Biblioteca Ambrosiana — Historical library with treasures such as Leonardo Atlantic Codex.
Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense — A library established in 1770 by the Austrian governor. It has since acquired other historical collections and the archives of RAI (Italy's state television). It is very active in organising workshops and debates on new media and new technologies.
Via della Spiga and its neighborhood is the center of high-class shopping, where almost every luxury brand can be found.
Porta Ticinese and the surrounding area is a very old-fashioned quarter nearly untouched by WWII bombings. At night Milanese people like to have a walk near Colonne di San Lorenzo (S.Lawrence's columns).
Piazza Della Scala — The location of the Statue of Leonardo Da Vinci and La Scala theatre. Great place for a photograph and right next to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. Ticket office is underground in the Duomo Metropolitana stop.
I Navigli — The location where many night spots are open until late. I Navigli (or The Canals) consist of Naviglio Grande and Naviglio Pavese. On the last Sunday of every month there is an antiques market along the Naviglio Grande.
Leonardo's Horse — A bronze sculpture realised according to an original project of Leonardo da Vinci. It is on the courtyard of the race-track of San Siro, just behind the Stadium. The race-track is open on race days but the horse is visible also from outside.
Milan is a great city to walk around and see the sights and people.
Football — Watch AC Milan or FC Internazionale at the famous Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, also known as San Siro, which is shared as a home stadium by both clubs. Tickets for most matches are available in advance or on the day. The rivalry between the two sides is very bitter, and considered to be one of the biggest in Italy, and matches between both sides, known as the Derby della Madonnina, are particularly charged affairs, and always attract sell-out crowds. Watch out for the scalpers at the stadium as they sell the tickets for much more than the official ticket offices. As many as 60 matches per year are played in San Siro from late August until late May. MM1 Lotto Station or streetcar 16.
Exhibition Fairs — Many exhibitions are held during the year, ranging from wines to computers, industrial equipment and chocolate. The old exhibitions area is in central Milan (MM1 Amendola Fiera or MM1 Lotto - Fiera 2 Stations), the new one is in Rho (North West Milan, MM1 Rho Fiera Station, A4 highway Pero exit). For more information, visit the Fiera Milano website .
If you want to see Milan from above you can go on Duomo roof (by stairs or lift), between spires and statues. Its a great experience for a stunning, panoramic view of the city. Another choice is the Branca Tower (Camoens street, near Triennale, inside Sempione Park), built in 1933 by architect Giò Ponti. The tower is 108 m high.
Although Milan is a city that changes its mind as quickly as fashion trends come and go, it remains one of the strongest bastions of traditional Italian cooking, where homemade elements are still very much praised and appreciated. There are trattorias, inns and restaurants (including luxury ones) everywhere that offer traditional Milanese dishes to eat. This city's solid cooking is based on filling dishes like osso buco (braised veal shanks) and risotto alla milanese (chicken-broth risotto made fragrant with saffron).
Dining times tend to be a shade earlier than in Rome or Florence, with lunch generally served between 12:30PM and 2:30PM and dinner from 7:30PM to 9:30PM. Dinner, and sometimes lunch, are usually preceded by that great Milanese institution, the aperitivo—a glass of sparkling wine or a Campari soda downed in a sophisticated hotel bar.
Chinese restaurants are mainly located around Paolo Sarpi Street, the heart of Milan's Chinatown.
Avoid the restaurants around the Duomo (cathedral) and the central area, they tend to be tourists-only, very low quality at high prices. Be aware that most restaurants perceive an extra "serving tax", approximate 2 E pro consumer.
The city also features an excellent cafe called Brek with several locations throughout Milan, including near the Duomo. The food is very good, the prices are fair, and it's a good place to stop for a quick bite.
For an artistic dining experience, try Lacerba on via dei Orti, 4, which serves dishes inspired by the early 20th century art movement, Futurism.
In the last several years, Milan has established a local version of the Aperitivo or Happy Hour.
Roughly from 7PM to 9PM, many bars offer drinks and cocktails at a fixed price (€5-8 each), accompanied by free all-you-can-eat buffets with snacks, pasta, rice, and many other appetizers.
A great place to go is the Straf Hotel near the Duomo. A whole lot of these places can be found in the area near the Colonne di san Lorenzo and Corso di porta Ticinese, or close by in the Navigli area (subway: MM2 Porta Genova Station).
At the Osteria del Gnocco Fritto, the €4.50 cover charge includes baskets of fried hand-size pastries (similar to sopapillas) accompanied by meats, cheeses, or jams (€8 to €11). Osteria del Gnocco Fritto has two locations: at Via Pestalozzi, 16, 02 8912.2631 and off the Grand Canal at Via Pasquale Paoli, 2, 02 5810.0216.
The Osteria dei Formaggi on the Grand Canal (Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 54, 02 8940 9415) serves all manner of excellent cheese dishes in an intimate dining room heavily decorated with cows.
Peck, Via Victor Hugo 4, +39 02 861040, . Foodies in the Duomo area should not miss this place. It is the Dean and Deluca of Milan, a gorgeous food shop that stocks the finest of just about everything. The prices are high, but since everything is counter service, you can graze a wide variety of delicacies for your money. Speaking of counter service, there is a special way to buy things at Peck. First, you order from the counter. They give you a little receipt. Once you have collected all your receipts, you pay at one of two registers. Then, you return to each of the counters you visited, where the staff have wrapped your treats exquisitely.
Boeucc', Piazza Belgioioso 2, Scala, Milan, tel 02/76020224. Milan's oldest restaurant is still traditional homemade cooking that is as fresh and tasty as the day it opened. Great for a special occasion, dessert is served on a special tea cart where they are shown to you before you decide, now try get out of having dessert! Even though the dessert are splendid, they are a bit pricy, so keep that in mind before you pick your dessert.
Da Abele, Via Temperanza 5, Loreto, Milan. Renowned for its risottos, which change seasonally, Da Abele has a relaxed atmosphere and place that is always packed with locals.
Il Brellin, Vicolo dei Lavandai, Navigli, Milan, tel 02/89402700. For a classic take on Milanese cooking, try Ill Brellin, where you can choose from homey classics such as rigatoni sautéed with pancetta, to modern interpretations on typical ingredients -- a pumpkin tart as an appetizer. Outdoor seating makes this a perfect choice on a sunny day, although take note that it is closed for dinner on Sundays.
La Terraza, Via Palestro 2, Quadrilatero, Milan, tel 02/76002277. For a Meditteranean take on Japanese cuisine, head to La Terraza which serves fusion food amongst a contemporary decor. During the summer months, everyone heads to the terrace, where you can see the treetops of the nearby Giardini Pubblici. There's a "happy hour" every day except Sunday; on Sunday, brunch is served.
In bars you can enjoy great caffè espresso, cappuccino and a brioche for as little as €2. Please note that bars in the Duomo and San Babila areas, breakfast can be very expensive.
Although Milan cannot claim to be the birthplace of pizza, (that claim belongs to Naples), you can still find good pizzas in Milan. The best areas for pizza are near Marghera street, at the end of Vercelli Avenue, and on the Navigli, on Brera. Expect to pay €8-15 for a pizza and a beer.
If you are in the Northeast area, there are many little pizzerias on viale Fulvio Testi (the northern extension of viale Zara) in the Greco area, of which an excellent choice is Pizzeria De Pino. Ask for John Luca, and don't miss the lasagne. Here you may also get homemade Mirto (as you can at many other places). The prices are very reasonable in these establishments; expect to pay about €4-5 for pizza and €3-4 for beer. These places are where the locals eat, they are very friendly and helpful but few speak anything but Italian. Take the phrase book with you.
Another restaurant on the viale Fulvio Testi that is a real recommendation is Pizzeria De Bassié. They offer really good homemade pizzas and especially their special "Adriano" pizza is a really good option!
In Milan, pizza is often eaten with a knife and fork, but of course eating with one's hands is possible and welcome. Most people do both.
Watch out for frozen pizza in Milan (it usualy states it on the menu). Always check the restaurant has a wood burning oven and that they are using it.
Pizza Fashion near the Centrale train station is good choice and they also do takeaway dessert if you're running to catch your train.
In summer enjoy gelato, an excellent Italian ice cream. The quality mark "gelato artigianale" indicates gelaterias that produce their own ice creams, without industrial processing. Bakeries are open every day, you can enjoy great and inexpensive bread-related food, such as pizza and focaccia. You can find a bakery almost everywhere in Milan, even in the Duomo area, and is a good alternative to bars for a fast lunch.
Some of the best places for the happy hour and late night drinking are:
Exploit Café, near the San Lorenzo Columns, in Porta Ticinese Avenue. If you want to visit a real bar in true Italian fashion, this is a worthy hot spot.
Bar Bianco, # Viale Enrico Ibsen (Parco Sempione), tel 3336323027, inside the Sempione Park. It's cash only at this bar, but with Gucci clad clubbers and their well suited companions, money seems easy to come by. The life of a party can always be detected in here.
Roialto, Via Piero della Francesca 55, 20154 Milan, tel +39 02 3493 6616. It's bland facade conceals a real gem of a cocktail bar/restaurant. It is a very popular spot for after-work drinks, or perhaps a pre-club drink if you're going dancing somewhere like the Gattopardo.
Honky Tonks, 00 39 023452562, Mon-Sat 6PM-2AM, Via Fratelli Induno, 10 Fiera, near Sempione Avenue, Not exactly a country cowboy bar as the name might imply, a more accurate description would include the smoky lounge feel and the jazz music being played. The drinks are well made and they also serve Tex-Mex style food.
Bar Magenta, in Via Carducci. This popular bar is best visited with a bunch of friends during apperitivo, a time when free appetizers are given out, usually around 7PM. It was said that Bar Magenta coined the now very popular “aperitivo”, and having a drink in here is a classic experience.
Dom Cafè, in Corso Como.
Il Saloon, in Niccolini St, Chinatown area.
Frescobar, in Bramante St, Chinatown area.
Rita, 02 8372865, Via Angelo Fumagalli, 1, It is the perfect place for a cocktail and Edo, the barman and the owner together with the chief Luca, is the grandmaster. They have strict code for preparing cocktails: no syrups are admitted, only fresh fruit. It is also a perfect place to eat.
Fashion Café, Via San Marco, (Brera district), Fashionable Armani-style place for aperitivo and drinks.
Milan has a great variety of places where you can have fun. A great starting point is Como Avenue (Corso Como), near Garibaldi Station, full of bars and glamorous clubs. In the summertime, this street is packed with young and attractive people.
Another place where you can go is Navigli quarter, near Porta Ticinese Avenue and XXIV Maggio Square, where you can find a lot of small pubs, open air cafes and restaurants by the water canals (navigli). In many pubs and bars you can find a free booklet named Zero2 which is a guide to Milan Nightlife: if you don't know what to do or where to go, do grab one!
Other popular night spots with bars and people are viale Monte Nero (on Wednesday it's packed with people in the piazza in front of a bar called "Momo"), Piazzale Susa (and Citta' Studi area). Nights are overwhelmingly crowded at the Colonne di San Lorenzo (not far from Navigli quarter), and in the cozy Latin-quarter of Brera. Another good spot is the pedestrian part of Corso Sempione near the "Peace Arch" (Arco della Pace).
There are bars and clubs open all week long but usually few people go out at night on Mondays or Tuesdays, the vast majority prefer to have fun on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. However, Wednesday night appears to be one of the coolest to go out in stylish VIP-frequented clubs.
Although Milan has a variety of bars, clubs, restaurants and venues for gay and lesbian travellers, tourists might often be misled by discovering that many places included in the long lists provided by gay and lesbian magazines are empty or shut. The reason is that clubs follow fashion and may be packed on a single night of the week and empty every other day. So be very attentive to hearsay and ask locals before venturing in places. Also note that venues are not concentrated in one area of town, but rather spread throughout the city. In February 2009:
Wednesday and Thursday nights is a gay crowd at Elephant (Via Lecco, subway: MM1 Porta Venezia Station).
Thursdays aperitivo at Hotel Straf near Duomo is well worth a look.
Friday nights at Rolling Stone disco (a huge one, Corso XXII Marzo, in the center but reachable by taxi, tram or #73 bus).
Saturday nights at Billy or Amnesia (viale Forlanini near Linate airport, reachable by taxi or #73 bus) or BinarioUno disco (via Plezzo, subway: MM2 Lambrate) or Black Hole (former lesbian club).
On Sunday nights, hundreds flock to the largest and classiest spot in town, the Borgo del Tempo Perso (via Fabio Massimo, subway: MM3 Porto di Mare) (open May-Sept only). The best saunas in 2008 include Metro (via Schiaparelli near the Central Station, subway: MM2 and MM3 Centrale Station) and Royal Hammam (near BinarioUno club, via Plezzo, subway: MM2 Lambrate Station), mostly packed during the weekend especially at night as they are open 24 hours. Open air meeting places such as Parco Nord, the gardens behind Cadorna station or Ortomercato are highly not recommended (delinquents and hustlers).
However, the campsite itself has a bar, a restaurant and very good shower facilities. This is definitely an option for students or people who would rather spend money in Milan, instead of accommodation.
Hostels and Apartments
Brera Apartments Milan – Via San Fermo, 1 - Cap: 20121, Milan, Italy. . Telephone +39 02 36557200. The Brera Apartments offers a wide selection of self catering accommodations of 50 sqm with double bed, sofa for two children, American living with kitchen, private bathroom and the high quality services of a four star hotel of Milan. The Brera Apartments is located close the shopping street of Via Moscova and the Metro stop of Via Turati. The ideal solution for a short stay in Milan.
Piero Rotta Youth Hostel, Via Salmoiraghi 1, +39-02-39267095, (, Fax: +39-02-33000191), . Follow the signs from QT8 stop on the red line to Molino Dorino. Very relaxed curfew compared to most in Italy. Look out for the night walkers you pass on the way to the hostel. €19-23. 5km from Duomo.
Isola Apartments Milan – Via Pastrengo, 14 – Cap: 20159, Milan - Italy . Telephone +39 02 6888058 • Fax 035 885208. This accommodation offers luxury and elegant apartments with cooking corner, private bathroom and balcony. Also affordable rates and great location in the vibrant district of “Isola”, close the Garibaldi Train Station and the Subway stop.
Ostello Olinda, Via Ippocrate 45, 0264445219, (), . Hostel converted from an old psychiatric ward, though other buildings on the grounds are still used for psychiatric treatment. Reception desk is only open from noon to 8PM, and the staff only speaks enough English to keep the place functioning. Entry after dark requires checking in with the gate guard. No curfew, but remember that the guard-gate is closed from 1:30AM to 6AM. It is located out in the suburbs near the Affori Train Station. Easily reached from the city center by commuter trains, or bus 70. The yellow-line of the subway is currently being extended and will eventually reach this location. Price begins at €18/night, includes free wifi.
Sweet Hostel, Via Monza 111, First Floor, 0039/327-3499824, (), (Don't trust the website though, see below). Hostel in part of what appears to be an old apartment complex, very nice decor with marble floors and walls! Compact hostel, with three 6 bed mixed dorms and a room for the owners. Two modern bathrooms with showers, which do often have queues in the morning. Access to the complex is via electronic gates (2002 on the telecom), the owners are young and very friendly and will let you in at any hour. Staff speak English and Italian, apart from Jack the fluffy dog. Location is about 2 mins walk from Rovoreto on the metro (take the Via Monza exit, walk past the sex shop and under the bridge, then look for the gated building). At night it is about 30 mins walk from Loreto where the 91/90 free bus stops. Rooms have wifi and air conditioning, however we just left the window open, as such the room was rather noisy. Approx €20/night, breakfast included, free tea/coffee all day if you ask nicely. Great location, great staff, highly recommended!
Hotel Delizia, Via Archimede, 86/88, 20124, +39 02 740544, (Fax: +39 02 733638), . A recently restored 2 star hotel with comfortable access to the tangenziale and the splendid Piazza del Duomo. 14 rooms each with shower, bidet, toilet, free wifi, TV, ADSL, breakfast. Double room single use €60. Two persons €120.
Hotel Serena Milan, Via Boscovich, 59 (Angolo Corso Buenos Aires), 20124, +39 0229 404483, (Fax: +0039 0229 404958), . The Hotel Serena Milan is situated in the centre of the city of Milan close to the Central Station and close to famous attractions and historical places.
Hotel Porta Romana Milan, Via Lazzaro Papi, 18, 20135, +39 02 55185890, (Fax: +39 02 55180189), . Hotel di Porta Romana is a 3 star accommodation nicely located in the city centre, ideal for business clients or holidaymakers who love to shop.
Hotel Arno / Hotel Eva, Via Lazzaretto, 17, 20124, +39 02 6705509, (), . 500 metres from the central station, 50 metres from tram stop, 500 metres from metro stops. Free internet access for guests. Only some rooms have ensuite facilities.
All these have ensuite facilities, shower, bath, WC, TV in room, 24 hour lobby.
Ariston Hotel Milan – Largo Carrobbio, 2 - Cap: 20123, Milan, Italy. . Telephone +39 02 72000556 • Fax +39 02 72000914. The Ariston is a three star hotel with 52 bedrooms (single, double and triple), private parking, a wine bar, a breakfast hall and a conference room able to host up to 25 people. Among the other services, the Hotel Ariston Milan also offers private bath, satellite TV, free internet access and a bike service, since the Ariston Hotel of Milan is an ecological accommodation. Average rates: singles €160, doubles €230.
Admiral Hotel, Via Domodossola, 16, 20131, +39 02 3492151, (Fax: +39 02 33106660). 3 km northwest of Duomo, in front of Fiera Milano City exhibition centre. Singles from €130. Doubles from €180.
Antares Hotel Accademia, Viale Certosa 68, 20155, +390239211122, (, Fax: +390233103878), . Four-star hotel located close to Milan's international fair and exhibition centre Fiera di Milano, as well as Via Vincenzo Monti shopping area and San Siro Stadium.
Antares Hotel Concorde, Viale Monza, 132, 20127, 0039 0226112020, (, Fax: 0039 0226147879), . Four-star hotel close to the Corso Buenos Aires shopping area. Piazza Duomo is only a few stops away on the underground.
Antares Hotel Rubens, Via Rubens, 21, 20148, 0039 0240302, (, Fax: 0039 0248193114), . Four-star Hotel Milan is near Milans Exhibition Centres, San Siro football stadium, Corso Vercelli shopping area and the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
Antica Locanda Leonardo, Corso Magenta 78, 20123, +39 02 48014197, (Fax: +39 02 48019012), . Antica Locanda Leonardo is located near the Teatro la Scala and is comfortable to reach Milan Trade fair district in Rho.
Berna Swiss Quality Hotel, , Via Napo Torriani 18, I-20124 Milano, Four star hotel situated 100m away from the station, 2km from **the duomo**. Single room from 89EUR, double room from 116EUR(low season of 2009).
Brunelleschi Hotel Milan, Via Baracchini, 12, 20123, +39 02 88431, (Fax: +39 02 804924), . The Hotel Brunelleschi Milan is a reputable 4 Star in the centre of Milan close to the Duomo and La Scala Theatre. Prices range from €100 upwards.
Cardano Hotel Milan Malpensa, Via al Campo, 10, 21010 Cardano al Campo (VA), +39 0331 261011, (, Fax: +39 0331 730829), . A charming 4 star hotel specifically designed to accommodate business and early-flight travelers, offering a comfortable overnight stay near Milan's Malpensa airport.
Country Hotel Borromeo, Via Bruno Buozzi 04, 20068, Peschiera Borromeo, +39 02 553771, (, Fax: +39 02 55300708), . Four-star hotel located five minutes from Linate Airport with 75 non smoking rooms with air conditioning, satellite TV, and mini-bar.
Four Points Sheraton Milan, Via Cardano, 1, 20124, +39 02 66746131/4, (, Fax: +39 02 66746165), . Milan city centre hotel with 205 rooms. Hotel also has 8 meeting rooms, restaurant, bar and exercise room.
Grand Hotel Puccini, C.so Buenos Aires, 33, 20124, +39 0229521344, (, Fax: +39 022047825), . The Grand Hotel Puccini is a 4-star city centre hotel is on Corso Buenos Aires. It has good transport links that allows good access to the Central Railway Station, airports and trade fair area.
Hotel Admiral Milan – Via Domodossola, 16 - Cap: 20145, Milan, Italy. . Telephone +39 02 3492151 • Fax +39 02 33106660. The Admiral Hotel is a four star accommodation of Milan with 60 bedrooms presented in different sizes. The Hotel Admiral is placed next the Exhibition Centre of Milan and behind the Sempione Park, at the beginning of the historic centre of Milan.
Hotel Ariston, Largo Carrobbio 2, +39 02 7200055, (Fax: +39 02 72000914), . In Milan, at 5 minutes from the Duomo and from Navigli, Hotel Ariston is a great welcoming place. Designed with bio-architectural principles in mind. Average rates: singles €160, doubles €230.
Hotel Bernina, Via Napo Torriani 27, 20124, +39 02 66988022, (Fax: +39 02 6702964), . Hotel Bernina is situated in the most comfortable and strategic zone of Milan, both for those interested in visiting the city, as for those who are in Milan on business. A stroll from the Central Station, this welcoming hotel in Milan is well connected to all the most interesting sites in the city. Single room from €55, Double from €75.
Hotel Bonola, Via Torrazza 15, +39 02 381 017 46, (Fax: +39 02 381 017 86), . Hotel Bonola is close to the freeway exits (the Tangenziale Ovest exit "Viale Certosa" is 1 km away), "Rho-Pero", the new trade show center and Mazdapalace the historical trade show center. Singles from €40, Double from €60.
Hotel Canova, Via Napo Torriani 15, 0266988181, (Fax: 0266713433), . Singles €51 doubles €68 cheapest booked via an intermediary, more expensive direct. Parking €20 per night, or use cheaper local garage. Excellent location near Stazione Centrale and low price.
Hotel Casa Mia, Viale Vittorio Veneto, 30 (corner P.zza Repubblica), +39.02.6575249, (Fax: +39 02 6552228), . Just 15 minutes walk to the Duomo and 10 minutes to Via Montenapoleone, small and attentive. Average prices: single rooms €65, doubles €90, triples €120.
Hotel Des Etrangers, Via Sirte 9, 20146, +39 02 48955325, (Fax: +39 02 48955359), . Close to the Milan Fair and the main University of Milan, the Hotel des Etrangers offers services and comfort for business and travel requirements.
Hotel Domenichino, Via Domenichino, 41, 20149, +39 02 48009692, (Fax: +39 02 48003953), . Just a short distance from the Trade Fair District, this hotel in Milan is in an ideal position for anyone on business or those on holiday in the city.
Hotel Fenice, Corso Buenos Aires, 2, +39 02 29525541, (Fax: +39 02 29523942), . The Hotel Fenice is in a perfect location: just a short distance from Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga and the fashion stronghold with its famous boutiques. Singles from €65, Double from €100 night.
Hotel Florence, Piazza Aspromonte, 22, 20100, +39 02 2361125, (Fax: +39 02 26680911) . The Hotel Florence is in a central area of Milan, easily reached from the Centrale station, with excellent public transport services (subway, street cars and buses) and full of attractions. Single rooms from €45, Doubles from €75.
Hotel Galles, Piazza Lima, 2, +39 02 204841, (Fax: +39 02 2048422), . The Hotel Galles is the ideal solution for a business or pleasure trip in the heart of Milan. Singles from €75, Queen size bed from €92, parking €21 per night.
Hotel Galileo Milan – Corso Europa 9 - Cap: 20122, . Telephone +39 02 7743 • Fax +39 02 76020584. A four star hotel with a choice of 89 single, double, triple and VIP rooms, all with private bath. Among the public areas are a bar, restaurant, lounge and reception with free internet connection. Rates include breakfast. 130 euros for single and 140 for a double.
Hotel Genius Milan – Via Porlezza, 4 - Cap: 20123, Milan, Italy. . Telephone +39 02 72094644 • Fax +39 02 72006950. The Genius Hotel is a three star accommodation which presents 38 bedrooms with private en-suite service. Milan is the Italian fashion and business capital, so the rooms of the Genius also present Wi-Fi Internet connection. The hotel is located between Castello Sforzesco and the Duomo. The rates change according to the season and go from Euros 88 to 99 for a single, and from Euros 120 to 155 for a double.
Hotel Ideale Via dei Mille, 60, 20129, +39 02 701 065 66, (Fax: +39 02 701 066 66), . The Center of Milan, Università Statale, Centrale Train Station and Linate Airport can be reached in just ten minutes.
Hotel Marconi Milan – Via Fabio Filzi, 3 - Cap: 20124, Milano, Italy. . Telephone +39 02 66 98 55 61 • Fax +39 02 66 90 738. Fabulous four star hotel located between Porta Nuova and the main train station of Milan, Stazione Centrale. Due its central position and the close public transports, the Marconi Hotel is easy to reach from Fiera Milano City and Fiera Milano. All the rooms of this four star hotel can be booked online and are divided in single, double and triple.
Hotel Manzoni, Via S. Spirito 20, 20121, +39 02 76005700, (Fax: +39 02 784212), . Situated in the center of Milan, near Via Montenapoleone and the Duomo, Hotel Manzoni is perfect for the traveller who appreciates personality and style made in Italy.
Mercure Milan Corso Genova, Via Conca Del Naviglio 20, 02 643 50 03. Singles €60, doubles €70, parking €20 per night.
Hotel Manin Milan, Via Manin, 7, 20121, 0039 02 6596511, (, Fax: 0039 02 6552160), . 4 star city centre hotel situated in a quiet side street. The hotels is a short distance away from the Duomo Cathedral, Scala Opera House and main railway station.
Hotel Mercure Milano Centro – Piazza Oberdan, 12 – Cap: 20129 Milano - Italy . Telephone +39 02 29403907 • Fax +39 02 29526171. Four star hotel hosted in a 16th century building located in the centre of Milan, close the Duomo and Da Vinci’s Last Supper. Thirty large bedrooms with air conditioning and meeting rooms.
Hotel Mistral, Via Vincenzo Toffetti 4, 20100, +39 02 57300197, (Fax: +39 02 57303060), . A 3 star hotel very close to the Rogoredo FS stop of the Metro yellow line 3 which can provide quick and direct access to the Duomo and Central Station.
Hotel Piacenza, Via Piacenza, 4, +39 0254 55 041, (Fax: +39 0254 65 269), . A short stroll from Porta Romana and the famous and prestigious Bocconi University, the hotel is also near typical restaurants and lively wine bars where you can spend a pleasant evening.
Hotel Ritter, Corso Garibaldi 68, 20121. A good 3-star hotel situated near the Moscova metro station and at a walking distance from Duomo.
Hotel Soperga, Via Soperga, 20127, +39 02 6690541, (Fax +39.02.66980352), . Between the Main Station and Corso Buenos Aires. This is a welcoming and elegant place to stay a while, for recreation or the demands of work.
Hotel Windsor, Via Galileo Galilei, 2, 20124, 0039026346, (, Fax: 0039026590663), . 4 star hotel in Milan with 109 rooms. It is located near the Piazza Repubblica and is close to a Metro stop allowing easy access to Milan's attractions.
THOTEL Milano : it is in a strategic position, especially for business travellers, just off Milan’s Tangenziale Ovest and the major motorways, near the Rho-Pero trade fair complex and just a few kilometres from Milan’s airports.
Lido Hotel, R. Galli n.8, 20148, 0039 02 33000420, (, Fax: 0039 02 39211429), . This Modern three star hotel is the closest hotel to the new pavilions of the Fiera Milano. Located across from the IOL Stadium.
The Milan Suite Hotel – Via Varesina 124 - Cap: 20156, Milan, Italy. . Telephone +39 02 33431807. Modern four star hotel located in the north district, well connected to the city centre and Fiera Milano. 40 bedrooms divided in double for single use, suite and junior suite. All the rooms come with en-suite service and the breakfast included. Facilities inclue two meeting halls, private parking and limousine service. From €80.
UNA Tocq Boutique Hotel, Via A. De Tocqueville 7/D 20154, +39 02 62 071, (toll free USA: 1 866 376 7831), . Offers 109 rooms and 13 apartments right in the heart of Corso Como. The hotel also features a restaurant and bar, as well as a fitness center with indoor swimming pool, and a garage nearby the hotel.
Best Western Hotel Felice Casati, Via Felice Casati, 18, 20124, +39 02 29404208, firstname.lastname@example.org, . 4-Star Milan Hotel near Central Train Station, Corso Buenos Aires, Porta Venezia and many other attractions.
Crowne Plaza Milan City, Via Melchiorre Gioia, 73, 20124, +39 02 66717715 , email@example.com, . 4-Star Milan Design Hotel offers 99 rooms and provides every comfort: wellness and fitness center, restaurant, bar, meeting rooms, suites, family rooms and much more.
Hotel Capitol, Via Cimarosa, 6, 20144, +39 02 438591, (firstname.lastname@example.org, Fax: +39 02 43859700), . A 66-room 4-star hotel located near the Exhibition centre, the Financial district, the airport shuttle terminal, and the underground station.
Hotel Ascot, Via Lentasio, 3, 20122, +39 02 58303300, (Fax: +39 02 58303203), . In the center of Milan, just a few meters from Corso di Porta Romana and 10 minutes walk from the Duomo and the National University. Single from €83, Double from €124.
Hotel Lloyd, Corso di Porta Romana, 48 20122, +39 02.58303332, (Fax: +39 02 58303365), . Offers large meeting rooms and a well-being program. Local business, shopping and culture just 10 minutes walk from the hotel. Single rooms from €85, Double from €116.
Hotel King, Corso Magenta 19, 20123, +39 02 874432, (Fax: +39 02 89010798), . 4 star hotel in the centre of the city, part of the Mokinba Hotels. Good location near the Duomo and top Milanese style service.
Park Hyatt Milan , , Via Tommaso Grossi 1, +39 02 8821 1234, 5 star hotel very close to Piazza del Duomo and Teatro alla Scala opera house. Host to La Cupola, a prominent restaurant on Milan's elite social scene.
Gardaland Resort Hotel, +39-045-6404000 , +39-045-6404000 , Via Palu’ 1, Castelnuovo del Garda 37014, Verona, Italy, The Gardaland theme park's hotel located next to the theme park in a themed setting. Visitors can enjoy shows at the hotel.
Milan is a fashion shoppers' paradise.
The main shopping area is the so-called Fashion Quadrangle (quadrilatero della moda), a set of blocks roughly between Duomo Square (Piazza Duomo), Cavour Square (Piazza Cavour) and San Babila Square (Piazza San Babila). Here in Montenapoleone Street, Della Spiga Street, Vittorio Emanuele Street and Manzoni Street, it contains the most prestigious boutiques and showrooms in the world. Everything reeks of ostentation and the splendor of a chic, fashionable lifestyle Located near MM1 San Babila or MM3 Montenapoleone subway stations.
Armani Megastore, 02-7231-8630, Via Manzoni 31, near La Scala, Metro: Montenapoleone, Giorgio Armani's flagship store. Covering over 8,000 square feet with outlets for his high-fashion creations, the Emporio Armani and Armani Jeans lines, plus the new Armani Casa selection of home furnishings as well as flower, book, and art shops; a high-tech Sony electronics boutique/play center in the basement; and an Emporio Café and branch of New York's Nobu sushi bar.
For people wanting to spend a bit less while still buying beautiful pieces, other areas are better. One of these is Vercelli Avenue (MM1 Pagano, MM1 Conciliazione subway stations), another one is Buenos Aires Avenue (MM1 Porta Venezia, MM1 Lima, MM1/MM2 Loreto subway stations), reputed as being the longest shopping street of Europe. Corso Buenos Aires connects Porta Venezia to Piazzale Loreto, and is even more commercial: here you can find Timberland, Mandarina Duck, Benetton, Kookai and Nara Camice.
For hipsters, there's the elongated Porta Ticinese area, especially on Saturday, when the flea market Fiera di Senigallia takes place near the Darsena (2008: currently that area is closed and Fiera di Senigallia has been moved to a place near Porta Genova MM2 subway and train station). This is a great place to wander and browse, and save money if you've somehow survived Milan's high end boutiques. Sort through new and second-hand clothes, old furniture, fake art nouveau lamps, perfumed candles and every kind of essence, books, comics, records, videos and DVDs.
The other market in Milan is the Mercatone del Naviglio Grande. This takes place along the Alzaia Naviglio Grande on the last Sunday of each month. Dedicated to antiques, the market has over 400 exhibitors, so you're certain to find something that catches your eye.
If outlet shopping is your thing, the shopping outlet in Serravalle Scrivia (a town roughly an hours drive from Milan is a good bet. Tour company-operated buses, including one that leaves from near the Castle, will take you there and back (roughly €20 for the round-trip as of early 2008). Reputed to be the first designer outlet in Italy and the biggest in Europe. Over 180 stores stock clothing, footwear and accessories, and it has a parking with 3000 parking lots, a children's playground, bars and restaurants.
Unless you venture in dangerous suburbs, Milan is a rather safe city.
Beware of the migrant vendors in the streets: most of the merchandise they sell is imitation/fake luxury goods. Even at a fraction of the cost of the original merchandise, the quality is spotty, and the goods are not well maintained in storage. Other scams that they will try is giving you "free friendship bracelets." After you take the bracelet, a colored piece of string, they will hit you up for money and relentlessly pursue you until they get as much as they can. They will be forceful, physically tying the bracelet to your wrist, or laying it on your shoulder as you try and walk away. This is especially true in the tourist areas around the Duomo and Castello Sforzesco.
Beware of people hanging around the square outside Duomo: they will walk up to you and forcefully give you corn on the hands to feed the pigeons on the pretense that they are free. All the pigeons in the surrounding area will then fly to you. The people will then relentlessly pursue you and ask you for money.
Stay away from the area around the central railway station at night.
Be careful crossing the street: drivers don't usually respect pedestrian crossings unless there is a red light for them to stop.
Milan has 8 universities and the largest number of students in Italy.
Università degli Studi di Milano , commonly known as La Statale — Established in 1924 in a 14th-century building named Ca' Granda with a marvellous internal courtyard. The University is on Festa del Perdono Street, very close to the Duomo. Reach by bus or subway, line MM1 MM3 Duomo Station. It also has other facilities around the city, the most important in Celoria Street.
Politecnico di Milano — A Technical University established in 1863 and is now one of Europe's most outstanding centres for engineering, architecture and industrial design. The main building is on Leonardo da Vinci Square, reach by bus, streetcar or subway, line MM2 Piola Station or Lambrate Station. The other main (and newest) facilities are around Bovisa FNM Station.
Università Bocconi — Established in 1902 as a private college, its one of the leading universities in Italy for economics and is renowed internationally. The central buildings are in Roentigen and Sarfatti Street and other facilities are in the surrounding area. Reachable by bus 79 and streetcars 9, 29 and 30.
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore , commonly known as Cattolica — Established in 1921 in the XV century Saint Ambrose Monastery, it has two very beautiful cloisters designed by Bramante. Università Cattolica is on Gemelli Street, right behind Saint Ambrose Basilica. Reachable by bus or subway, line MM2 Sant'Ambrogio Station.
Università di Milano - Bicocca — A new university born as a spin-off from Università Statale. Situated between Milan and the once-industrial small town of Sesto S.Giovanni, in a recently restructured area of former old tire factory grounds. Reachable by bus, streetcar of railway, FS Greco-Pirelli Station.
LIUC — Established in 1991 north-west of Milan, in the small town of Castellanza, half way between Milan and Malpensa Airport, is a young yet very active university. Reachable by commuter train, FNM Castellanza Station.
Università Vita Salute - San Raffaele — Established in 1996 around San Raffaele Hospital, one of Italy's top research centres in biotechnology and medicine. Reachable by subway, MM2 Cascina Gobba station, then light railway service to San Raffaele.
Almost every Milan university has several facilities around the city and some of them also have secondary centres in other areas of Lombardy and Italy, so if you need something specific you'd better ask before getting there. Every university has its own students' residences, which are much smaller than they should be, so they can satisfy only a small portion of demand for them. If you're not able to get a room in a residence, every university has an ISU, a Studying Right Institute, that can help you find a room or an apartment for rent. Note that renting a room or an apartment can be very expensive, starting at €400-500 /month for a room. MeglioMilano is an association that is now experimenting a project to help non-Milanese students find a home and retired old people find somebody to help them in everyday life. The project is called Prendi in casa uno studente (Bring a student home), you can ask for information by email (mailto:email@example.com) or by phone on (+39) 02 76020589.
Lake Como— A huge, impressive, beautiful lake in the foothills of the Alps. See the villages of Como, Menaggio, Bellagio & Varenna. Como can be reached by regular trains (50 minutes from Cadorna station) and buses.
Monza— Medium-size town with a beautiful pedestrian-only centre (local museum housing the medieval crown of the Longobard kings) and a marvellous park, Parco di Monza, the largest enclosed park in Europe. Inside the park there is the Autodromo Nazionale where the Formula 1 GP, Superbike and other minor races take place. Accessible by regular trains (15 minutes from Centrale or Porta Garibaldi stations) and buses.
Bergamo— Elegant walled hilltop Renaissance university town. Bergamo is serviced by regular trains (from Centrale, Porta Garibaldi and Lambrate stations, about 1 hour trip time) and buses.
Crespi d'Adda— A planned industrial city between Bergamo and Milan. It has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Lake Garda— Beautiful lake with a lot of beautiful small cities, the best is Sirmione. Two big theme parks are nearby: Gardaland , the best in Italy, and Canevaworld Resort , home of Movieland (a movie theme park) and a water park. Accessible by way of regular trains (65-85 minutes from Centrale station) and buses. Very crowded during summer and weekends.
Excursions without a car: You don't need a car to escape from the business, the traffic, the congestion, the fog in wintertime, and the afa (humid heat in summer), of the city of Milan to a wonderful world of lakes, mountains, castles and good food: just take the train and, sometimes, the boat.
Biking Trips: Beginning at the 24th May Square (Piazza 24 Maggio) there is a excellent and very long bike road on the right bank of the canal. Be aware to take the Naviglio Grande (the left one) and follow it as long as you want. After few kilometers you'll reach the nice Chiesetta di San Cristoforo, a popular spot for marriages. If you are well trained, proceed through the countryside. About 10 km to Gaggiano, a very nice and tiny village, and 20 km to Abbiategrasso. If you are still in the mood for riding, follow the canal on the right and reach Robecco sul Naviglio.
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